Now that the cat is out of the bag and Ronda Rousey has been publicly confirmed as signing with the UFC, the questions begin to swirl around who and when she will make her Octagon debut.
At this point in time, there is no answer to either of those questions.
At this point in time, Ronda Rousey is the sole female fighter in the UFC.
“It’s become abundantly clear to me that Cyborg does not want to fight her,” said White in an interview with Fuel TV following Friday’s UFC 154 weigh-ins in Montreal.
That he isn’t likely able to put that fight together hasn’t deterred White from taking a chance on women’s MMA, something that just a couple years ago, he didn’t think was ever likely to happen.
White always believed that the women’s divisions just weren’t deep enough with top talent to forge individual weight classes in the UFC. He’s changed his mind, to a degree, but it appears that this is still very much a work in progress.
He seems to think there is enough talent in Rousey’s 135-pound class to see if it is sustainable, but White isn’t sure beyond the next couple of years.
“I think the 135-pound division that Ronda is in and is the champion of, there’s four or five good fights for her over the next year, year and a half,” remarked White.
“I think you’ll see a lot more women coming up through that 135-pound division… or they won’t. It’s deep enough to get through a couple years and then we’ll see what happens.
“I’m gonna give this thing a shot. We’re gonna try it.”
White is obviously seizing the moment to capitalize on Rousey’s star power, which currently appears to be boundless, as she’s made inroads into the mainstream that has eluded other women fighters. But he’s also using Rousey’s time in the spotlight to give women’s MMA the opportunity to show that there is enough talent to establish itself as a staple in the Octagon.
“I think Ronda Rousey is gonna be a huge star,” White continued. “I think she’s incredibly talented. She’s mean and nasty. She’s a real fighter. So we’ll see how this thing plays out and see how strong women’s MMA really is.”
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